The jury is out on what core / abdominal exercises are safe and effective. I personally keep to a select handful when it comes to my training as well as my clients training.
My thought process is this: 1. Is it covering one of the three areas of core training (rotation, stability, strength) 2. Is it safe on the lumbar spine? 3. Which is greater - the risk or benefit of the drill?
A few months ago, Nick introduced me to a core exercise. I took it one step further with a different piece of equipment and it has since become one of my favorite new core exercises. I use this regularly in session and with clients. I call this “Forward Abs Plank Meets Mountain Climber.”
This exercise is great for shoulder stability, core strength and core stability. It minimizes unsafe movements commonly seen in many abdominal routines PLUS it offers the “burn” everyone likes to feel as reps increase.
The following pictures are to demo the exercise:
- I recommend using a Dynamax Ball. This allows for a bit more control and therefore, better execution of the drill (rather than using a traditional Medicine Ball which will roll around more). I also like the Dynamax Ball because it puts your torso at a slightly higher angle.
- Try 20 to 30 repetitions per set.
- Alternate legs / knee drive.
- Drive your knee straight forward as high as possible. (Do not touch front foot to the floor). Be sure to maintain proper plank form (back / hips in neutral). Pause for a 2 second hold with each knee drive, then switch.
**An alternative way to do this exercise is to bring your knee to the outside of your elbow. AKA: Lateral Knee Drive. This will engage your obliques more.
Same applications apply
Good luck! Give it a try and let me know what you think!